I was browsing through the Japanese Baseball Database the other day and I came upon what I thought was an interesting piece of trivia. What pitcher has given up the most home runs in Japanese Baseball history? The answer is Hall Of Famer Keishi Suzuki, who gave up 560 home runs during his 20 year career for the Kintetsu Buffaloes. Obviously you have to be a very good pitcher to get the opportunity to pitch enough to give up over 500 home runs. Suzuki was good enough to win 317 games, fourth on the All Time list. His #1 was the only uniform number retired by the Kintetsu Buffaloes, which was commemorated in this subset in the 2001 BBM set:
2001 BBM #540
"Was" is the operative tense here, however. I had asked a question on NBP Tracker a month or so ago about whether the "merger" of Orix and Kintetsu following the 2004 season combined their team histories - I used as an example the question of whether the last time the Orix Buffaloes played in the Nippon Series was 2001 (as Kintetsu) or 1996 (as Orix). The reply I got was that Kintetsu's history was not included. The example the person replying made was that despite the face that Keishi Suzuki's number had been retired by Kintetsu, Mitsutaka Goto is wearing #1 for the Orix Buffaloes (and has since the merger, except for when Terry Collins had the number in 2007 and 2008).
So if Tuffy Rhodes' 55 home runs in 2001 is not the franchise single season home run record, what is? I think it's Atsushi Nagaike with 43 in 1973, but I could be wrong.